Sullivan: Religiously Faithful, Be Politically Reasonable
Gay Catholic writer Andrew Sullivan is at the center of religious discourse this week, with a provocative cover story in Newsweek and an appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation.
Sullivan’s Newsweek story laments the politicization of Christianity. “The crisis of Christianity is perhaps best captured in the new meaning of the word ‘secular,’” he writes. “It once meant belief in separating the spheres of faith and politics; it now means, for many, simply atheism. The ability to be faithful in a religious space and reasonable in a political one has atrophied before our eyes.” Not that Christianity cannot inform politics he says, but he calls for “the kind of Christianity” that “seeks always to translate religious truths into reasoned, secular arguments that can appeal to those of other faiths and none at all.”
He also notes that “issues that Christianity obsesses over today” are nowhere to be found in the New Testament. “Jesus never spoke of homosexuality or abortion, and his only remarks on marriage were a condemnation of divorce (now commonplace among American Christians) and forgiveness for adultery,” Sullivan writes.
While Sullivan criticizes the use of religion by both conservatives and liberals, he finds the religious right much more powerful than the left — a point he debated with Richard Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention, Sunday on Face the Nation. He says evangelical Protestants and conservative Catholics have “become fused with one political party, the Republican Party.” Watch two segments of the program below.